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There have been multiple rumors about Apple's work on various Apple TV and HomePod hybrid devices with a touchscreen over the last few years, and new findings in the tvOS 18 update further hint at the development that Apple is doing in the home space.

Second-Generation-HomePod-With-Top-LCD-Feature.jpg

A unique touchscreen interface was allegedly found buried in tvOS 18 beta 3 by 9to5Mac, and the finding is actually relevant to the HomePod because the HomePod's software is an offshoot of the tvOS software. The interface is called "PlasterBoard" internally, and PlasterBoard is in line with the naming for other Apple interfaces, which include SpringBoard for iOS and iPadOS, PineBoard for tvOS, SoundBoard for HomePod, and SurfBoard for visionOS. The interface appears to feature just a Lock Screen with a touch-based keyboard for entering passcodes as of right now, with little else discovered about it.

The Apple TV does not include an option for locking it with a passcode, nor does the HomePod because as of right now, the HomePod only supports simple control gestures. The design that was found in the beta closely resembles the on-screen keypad that you see on an iPhone or an iPad.

Rumors have suggested that Apple is working on several home control devices, and the mix of rumors we've heard indicate that multiple development paths and prototypes are being explored. There have been rumors of a simple HomePod with a touch display at the top, a hybrid HomePod and Apple TV device with a camera, a HomePod with a screen and a camera, and an iPad/HomePod sort of combo that works as a centralized home hub.

A standard HomePod with an LED touch-based display at the top of the device could potentially be the first HomePod and display combo that we see. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said a HomePod with 7-inch display would launch at some point in 2024, and there have been leaked prototype images.

Last week, MacRumors found code referencing a "Home Accessory" device with a HomeAccessory17,1 identifier. No existing HomePod or Apple TV devices use the HomeAccessory identifier, but it is similar to the AudioAccessory identifier that Apple uses internally for the HomePod. Based on the numbering, this upcoming device is equipped with the same A18 chip we expect to see in the iPhone 16 lineup.

Article Link: tvOS 18 Hints at HomePod With Touchscreen Display
 

Premium1

macrumors 68000
Jan 26, 2013
1,521
1,900
If it looks like the image, that is such a stupid design. I could MAYBE see if it was like what amazon and Google were doing (with a larger screen in front) but this just seems dumb (and terrible from a usability standpoint). Never once have I thought "man I really wish I could touch the screen on the homepod to interact with it."
 

spaxxedout

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2018
211
731
If it looks like the image, that is such a stupid design. I could MAYBE see if it was like what amazon and Google were doing (with a larger screen in front) but this just seems dumb (and terrible from a usability standpoint). Never once have I thought "man I really wish I could touch the screen on the homepod to interact with it."

Yeah there's no way they'd go with this design. I like what Amazon and Google are doing, and I wish Apple would make a horizontal magnetic dock for iPad that, when connected, changes the iPad's interface to something more akin to one of the larger Echo Show's.
 

gleepskip

macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2005
679
1,916
Yeah there's no way they'd go with this design. I like what Amazon and Google are doing, and I wish Apple would make a horizontal magnetic dock for iPad that, when connected, changes the iPad's interface to something more akin to one of the larger Echo Show's.

I would love that, but Apple will never do it. They want you to buy a standalone device with a screen for maximum profit instead of a BYOT dock like Google have.

236705_Google_Pixel_Tablet_DSeifert_0005.jpg
 

TheNewLou

macrumors regular
May 24, 2016
140
242
This makes more sense as a remote UI (as I just said) because otherwise tvOS now has all the complexity of a focus-based UI (remote control) and the complexity of a touch-based OS (iOS), in which case you might as well merge all their OSes together
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
The big question: will version 3 stereo sync with version 2* or will you need to buy 2 of these for stereo? Will Apple choose the money or customer value & utility? Probably rhetorical (for some reason, owners will need this screen on both ends of the stereo pair). :rolleyes:

If V3 doesn't pair with V2, how many rounds of this do people play before making the decision that maybe complete "smarts"-dependency in a technology that can otherwise last decades while producing identical quality sound is not a good idea?

*making reference to the decision to NOT allow version 2 to sync with version 1.
 

nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,542
406
Middle Earth
Homepod to me simply means speaker. Apple's never said the requirements for a Homepod must be round or conical.

Simply sticking an iPad on a base won't work. iPads are too expensive and a Homepod with display needs to be affordable enough that you'd want to put them in a handful of areas.

Because of Homekit speaker capability you don't need to make the internal speakers massive. We should be able to send the audio to Homekit speakers placed elsewhere in our homes.
 

subjonas

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2014
5,837
6,235
I would love that, but Apple will never do it. They want you to buy a standalone device with a screen for maximum profit instead of a BYOT dock like Google have.

236705_Google_Pixel_Tablet_DSeifert_0005.jpg
If I got a HomePod with screen I would prefer a standalone device. I don’t want the screen to ever be gone and have to go searching for it, and I don’t want to be inhibited in using my iPad whenever I’m also using the HomePod.
Modular devices can save money, but don’t usually make for the ideal UX. Standalone devices do because they’re specially and totally designed for their intended use and don’t hamper other devices.
 

roland.g

macrumors 604
Apr 11, 2005
7,424
3,175
The Google Pixel Tablet with magnetic charging dock and speaker gets it right. That’s the solution Apple should be copying. Until then the smart hub is just fragmented hardware.
 

mcfrazieriv

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2012
1,116
2,851
Oh yes... fight against the usage of a round display in your watch product but build a round display into the top of a device usually on the opposite side of your room....
 
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